Early Times Report
Jammu, Aug 2: A batch of 570 pilgrims on Tuesday left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here to pay obeisance at the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.
The 43-day Yatra began on June 30 from the twin routes -- the traditional 48-km from Nunwan in Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag, and the 14-km shorter but steep Baltal route in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir.
The 33rd batch of pilgrims left in a convoy of 21 vehicles amid heavy security of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), they said.
According to officials, 346 pilgrims heading for Baltal were the first to leave the Jammu base camp in 10 vehicles followed by the second convoy of 11 vehicles carrying 224 pilgrims for Pahalgam.
The number of pilgrims visiting the cave shrine is drastically falling as the yatra is inching towards its conclusion as well as poor weather conditions, officials said.
A total of 1,43,693 pilgrims have left from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the Valley since June 29.
The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
A total of 36 people, mostly pilgrims, have died during till now, excluding 15 pilgrims, who died in the flashfloods at Amarnath cave shrine on July 1.